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08/10/2003

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Anonymous Bob

"...pendulous-breasted Taki fromSoul Calibur II, nipples clearly poking out through her leotard."

This is somewhat of a tangent, but regardless... What are the implications of this kind of imagery on the younger crowd. If this is aimed at an 8-12 year old age group, these kids are growing up to a society of objectified women even more than when I was a kid (25 now).
Most peoples initial reaction to this is probably "aren't kids that age total horn-dogs anyways"? But that's a very mature perspective on a seriously overlooked level of content. Would be nice to get some legitimate feedback from reasonable people immersed in said content, that doesn't come from the barking mouths of womens rights groups or other such associations of nay-sayers who speak without really analyzing.

jvm

If the comment about a "D-" is a reference to the quality of the magazine, then ignore the rest of this comment. Otherwise, I'll stand up and say that TR:AoD deserves at least a C. The maligned control system is not ancient nor is it imprecise for most things in the game. If you've played Devil May Cry, then you know how it works, and the catch is just that Lara has to actually perform jumps with some skill (not have automatic moves take over as in DMC). After the first level or two, I didn't think about the controls, because they were transparent.

The slowdown is very sloppy and makes me wish the PS2 had a hard drive that would allow this game to be patched. The bugs (real gameplay bugs, not the slowdown) are in the first few levels, and I saw very few of those. The bugs are mostly non-existent after that, although the slowdown persists.

That out of the way, the gameplay was decent and the story was great. There is actually a plot, including a small arc (this game), and a larger arc (the next two games, if they're made). An ending with a twist and a mysterious exit that leaves you hanging. There are real, old-time TR puzzles here that make a fan of the original (but not the PSX sequels) like me smile. I'm nearly sold on the idea of urban environments, if they go the way they went here; they're just an introduction to what lies beneath: mysterious, forgotten areas under old European cities. And, surprisingly, the new character actually was worth introducing. I wish that his role had been bigger, but the ending hints at things to come.

I'll stop there, but I think that people have begun to pile on TR:AoD a bit unfairly. Just my 2.

More of my talk about the game can be found here.

Fleischman

Damn, those nipples really are stickin' out! Sheesh. What the hell is ZD thinking?

Phincus

In reguard to the video game music, I'm fairly sure I've heard this band some where and was reasonably unimpressed. The only band that is, in fact, video game oriented that I've found to have enjoyable music is Electric Funstuff. Funny and catchy, that's all I ask!

ClockworkGrue

On the Taki thread, I'd point out that I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of Taki where she wasn't cutting some serious glass. The question isn't really "why'd they pick that image?" but "why'd they pick that character?"

Of course, the answer may be obvious. Sex sells magazines. Hell, I found out about this site because of the Rez-vibrator article.

With the 8-12 set, there are going to be some kids who get the sex refrence, and some kids who totally don't pick up on it. Kids mature differently. What seems stranger to me is that marketing wasn't worried that the kid's parents weren't going to freak out at Taki's weird pink bondage/nipples combo.

walk slow
ClockworkGrue

Exick

If I were a parent of an 8-12 year old who desired this magazine, I'd be rather less concerned about the nipples and more concerned about the serious camel toe that Taki is rockin. Geez.

jane

Ben: right, GMR ran the same Soul Calibur cover story but they picked the much less nipplicious Cassandra as their cover girl.

Justin actually pointed the cover out to the editor of the magazine when he was in the office, saying, "Isn't this a little much?" and the editor reportedly responded, "Yeah, our female staff wasn't too happy about that. But 14-year old boys love that stuff. It's going to be our best-selling issue ever."

of course, according to the ZD site, the market is 8-12, not 14; and then there's the issue of, are 30-year-olds determining what is supposed to be "hot" for 14-year olds? and aren't a generation of kids being trained by magazines like GameNow? and if so, what are they being trained to believe?

Hugh "Nomad" Hancock

So, what would you say would be an interesting direction to go if one wanted to interpret a video game in a film? Possibly something like Memento, where the narrative is fractured and multi-partate, or something else?

I'm asking because obviously I'm one of the people more likely to be adapting a video game into a filmic format any time soon...

arlovegas

You know, much of the smarter writing starting to filter through the net on video games still isn't making it to the newsstands in my experience. Though the reviews can be useful I tend to avoid most of the popular mags like the plague. Ziff does publish one decent title though. I'm rather fond of XBox Nation. Excepting the last issue, I've read the last 4 or 5 and I was impressed by the general standards of their insights and reviews.

There's also a popular magazine geared towards adults called "Play" that has very nice graphics, some good writing, and the worst, most inaccurate reviews to ever grace a magazine. It seems this man Dave writes the majority of their reviews and he never met a mediocre game he didn't like. But they had a great Castlevania retrospective in their latest issue.

san

RE: Serial television programs about video games
There was a short-lived program about a video game development company -- sort of a soap opera format -- that aired on, I believe, MTV several years ago.

RE: Video game magazines
Contemporary print video game magazines are so bad as to offend the public decency -- and I'm not talking about perky nipples, either. They are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors that cannot be dismissed with the "common usage" excuse. Even Xbox Nation and Play, both aspiring to literacy, fall far short of reasonable editorial standards; they are pretty but they lack depth. And the many video game publications on the market proudly proclaim the names of their editors in their mastheads. One wonders what exactly these editors do all day long.

For God's sake, the venerable Martin Amis, and the less laudable but at least inconsistently talented Alex Garland, are video game fanatics. You'd think some of this tendency toward literacy would make it down into the ranks of the popular game media.

Mike

"What are the implications of this kind of imagery on the younger crowd. If this is aimed at an 8-12 year old age group, these kids are growing up to a society of objectified women even more than when I was a kid (25 now)."

Just think how horrified they will be when they realize there aren't really dragons! There isn't a spot of realism at all in Soul Calibur. Why focus on nipples when the whole game is extreme? It's all fantasy. Get over it.

jane

Hugh, i think fractured narrative is a natural for representing videogames in film - of course, avant-garde writers have been doing that to books for a long time. (is Ulysses the ultimate videogame novel?) i've often wondered about this myself - how does one evoke the videogame in other media?

and many of you pointed out that there is good writing on videogames. totally. i bow down to Edge. Xbox Nation is not bad, but as one pointed out, it's a bit thin; articles are short. and they're not experimental enough. what if we had the New Yorker of videogames? okay, so not everyone is a fan of that publication, but you know how they have a mix of things - shorter newsier bits, then long, in-depth essays, a rambly personal memoir, some visual pieces, fiction, poetry, for god's sake! that's what i would like to have!

(okay, maybe not the poetry)

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